Please stand up briefly when your name is called:
Gene and Barbara Gregory
Arthur and Mary Lou Gregory
Judson and Pearl Gregory
Willie Mae Gregory Ashford
Thank you for a great meeting and dinner last night. This has been their contribution to the Gregory Family Reunion for the third year. We are most appreciative of their effort and expense and especially their hospitality.
I understand the young people: Terry, Alice, Judson, Philip, and Amanda also helped out. All say that the Friday night "Welcome to Union" gathering is the best part of the reunion each year. Thank you again cousins.
ARTHUR: We are indebted to Arthur for being our local arrangements chairman with all the expertise and effort required. He is a real professional in such things. We also want to thank the gracious Gregory wives, Barbara, Mary Lou, Pearl, and sister Willie Mae for decorating this meeting hall. Well done. Thank you ladies.
REG and ELAINE and DOMINIQUE GREGORY, our Dallas cousins: We want to express our thanks to Reg and Elaine and Dominique for the massive effort involved in getting out the information and registrations, collecting monies, making name tags, tickets, banners, lists, etc. that are the nuts and bolts of a meeting such as this. You would not believe that they mailed out over 750 forms, set up databases, made dozens of phone calls all over the US, written dozens of letters and E-Mails. It does not take a Rocket Scientist to figure out the cost and effort of such an undertaking. Thank you Reg, Elaine and Dominique. I will tell you more about this group later.
HOP and MARGARET PEAKE: Hop is the master when it comes to knowing the families of our group because he grew up here. He knows all the multiple families, double cousins and all. His advice and experience from the first two reunions has been most valuable in this effort. He was asked to supervise the sign in and make sure people are assigned to the correct family group. Margaret has been his advisor and collaborator. Thank you both for helping out this time and for the first two reunions.
TRUMAN and EUNICE GREGORY, from Eastland, Texas: They are the old pros when it comes to reunions from many years of hosting the gatherings of the Texas part of the family. Their advice and council in planning this reunion is very much appreciated.
LINDA CRISSINGER: Linda has helped out at all the reunions. She is doing very valuable research on the family and has added much previously unknown data. Thank you Linda.
MARGARET BROCKMAN: Margaret had also helped out all three years with the sign-in and doing what else was asked of her. Thank you Margaret.
NAOMA LOWE: Naoma is the wife of Don Lowe who you will hear more later. This is her first time to be involved other than helping Don with his family data research. I suspect she has been tempted to unplug his computer on occasion.
RICK WACHTER and WIFE EILENE: Rick and Eilene are of my branch of the family and live close to Ashville. They volunteered at last year's meeting to help out. Their efforts are appreciated.
JOHN GERARD GREGORY and WIFE MELANIE and new daughter Rebecca Catherine, born on Sept 13 of this year. The baby is a little young to work a sign-in table, but maybe next year. John volunteered their services and it is appreciated. Congratulations on the newest member of the clan.
ELAINE GREGORY, wife of REG: She has the digital camera so be on your good behaviors - candid shots you know - no black mail intended.
MARY GREGORY, my wife, helping out with the sign-in and helping Elaine get the correct names of the people they photograph. KAREN GREGORY SMITH is also assisting with the photography.
DOMINIQUE GREGORY, Reg's niece: She is the one that does all the computer genius things with getting this reunion up and running. Thank you Dom. God bless.
CHRISTINE JETER GREGORY - 93 years young - is a Special Guest of Honor.
This lady is accompanied by her kin Dr's Allen and Elaine Jeter of Santuck. Cousin Christine has in her possession a daybook from the Jeter General Store in 1819-20 that she graciously allowed Reg and Hop to scan into Reg's computer, some three years ago. This gives an insight into the lives of our ancestors in that era. Reg has produced copies of that ledger ant they are available by contacting Reg, and in the Gregory Family Store at the Gregory Family Website.
As a token of our love and appreciation, we are presenting to one of our most senior cousins, Christine Jeter Gregory and artist signed and numbered painting #93, her age, of the Gregory Plantation Home owned by the Sartor family after 1868. As a young girl, she visited the Sartor girls there and rode horses and did all the little girl things. Reg, since you purchased the original painting and had copies made, please present to our dear cousin Christine, a token of our love and heartfelt appreciation. We also have for you a certificate saying "Thank You, Christine".
GLEANINGS from the Jeter Store Ledger:
I must relate a story about my g-g-gf Benj. J. Gregory who had married into the Jeter family by claiming Elizabeth Jeter as his bride - smart man. (Elizabeth and Christine's g-gr father were sister and brother). They day book starts in July 1819 and covers transactions thru July 1820. Seems as if a barrel of fine brandy was obtained by the store in July 1819 and Benj. J. and others of our family, including Reg Gregory's and neighbors were being same at a goodly rate of half a pint to a pint, to a quart and probably drinking same on the spot or outside in the cool. (There is no mention of the store being a tavern). Some of those who bought a half pint, charged in the same ledger place for an additional half pint, indicating on-site consumption. Perhaps it was well that the horse knew the way home.
The brandy was being consumed at a fast pace until Sept 16, 1819 when Benj. J. bought the remaining 24 gallons. Good connections with the storeowner and a desire to acquire good spirits for future use, no doubts. The men that frequented the store then had to switch to gin and rum until January 1820 when the gin ran out and then just to rum. I have wondered if Ben J. took the barrel home with him. I should note that Benj. J.'s tombstone called him "an exemplary member of the Baptist Church".
MORE data from the ledger:
Also in the ledger is an account of Ben. J.'s mother Freelove Gregory, wife and widow of Gerard who was the ggg grandmother of Reg and myself. The dear lady is recorded as buying two bottles of castor oil on 4 March 1820. The old timers thought that everyone needed a good spring-cleaning and here is proof positive. Also the old girl bought some cloth and sewing materials in the month of June 1820, so she must have still been quite active and of good mind. She must have been a good seamstress, but with litters of kids in the family, there was no alternative (no Wal-Mart in those days). Her kids were out of the nest and she needed a new dress occasionally. The older of her kids were on their own and she was living in the house with Jehu. There are at least twelve entries of her charging food and goods in the ledger. She did like to shop. The same genetic traits are in her female descendants today.
The members of the Jeter family were not shy about buying a pint or so of whatever elixir was available. It was abundantly clear that he sore was a meeting place for good conversation, recreation, fellowship (non religious), just chewing the fat and catching up on neighborhood talk. Also the store served as a bank of sorts for the more financially secure. There are multiple entries of money being obviously loaned to individuals by Benj. J. and others. There is so much that can be deducted from the entries and purchases. This daybook is priceless. Thank you cousin Christine.
OPHELIA GREGORY LYONS: We have with us today a young lady who has attended all three reunions. She is the most senior of all our know family. Hop Peake says that she is of John Gregory descent, thru the Edward Gregory family. This is a part of Gene, Arthur, Judson and Willie Mae's family so welcome Ophelia Gregory Lyons to your roots in Union. This lady was born May 6, 1900, so she is 8 months short of 100. Reg will you please present painting #99 to our dear cousin Ophelia. Ophelia, you have set a standard that few mortals attain. We honor you and love you. Come again next year. She also gets a certificate of being the oldest Gregory descendant in attendance at this meeting.
EIGHTY YEAR CERTIFICATES: Rick and John, please present the certificates to:
Sarah G. Lowe Bayless
William B. Gibson
William H. Gregory
Anna Mary Lancaster
Anita G. Sanders
Dorothy G. Wachter
Lynette M. White
YOUNGEST: Rebecca Catherine Gregory, daughter of John and Melanie G. of Lexington, SC. Born 19 September 1999.
FARTHEST TRAVELLED: Bob and Edna Gregory, daughter Gloria G. Vanda, from California.
DON LOWE PRESENTATION: Last year I met a tall man with a large clipboard with lots of data taken from the courthouse records in Union. It turns out that he and I were double cousins as he is descended from both the Gregorys and Jollys. My mother was a Jolly and I knew that the two families had intermarried long before the migrated to Mississippi in the early 1850's. There were stories of our g. grandfathers being good friends. Don Lowe was researching both family connections and it immediately became clear that his research might clear up the confusion about who built the house now known as Juxa. I encouraged Don to continue and now a year later, I consider him a great friend, cousin X 2 and an authority on what really went on from the earliest days to well past the Civil War. What Don will present in the next 15-20 minutes is a thumbnail sketch of our families, all documented from the original records. He has spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars and used the most modern computer and GPS equipment to produce what you are about to see. Thank you Don.